Peer To Peer

Re “Yes, My Dad Works in Hollywood” (Cover Story, March 24).

I loved this story. The writer is a young author, and I do not usually read the Reader, but I felt like I could connect to her on a different level. I felt like I was listening to a peer instead of a broadcaster. Thank you for the great new article and enjoyable reading material.

via email

Big Mixup

There’s a lot of misinformation in the March 24 “Stringer” story about Centre City Development Corporation paying $228 million in debt owed by the convention center (“Pay Up? No, Thanks”). For starters, CCDC does not now nor will they ever have the money to pay this debt. The writer, Dorian Hargrove, has confused CCDC with the Redevelopment Agency, also known as the San Diego City Council. So it is the council, not CCDC, that makes the decision about paying the $228 million.

Don’t take my word for it. You can ask Frank Alessi, finance director of CCDC, or Janice Weinrick, deputy director of the Redevelopment Agency.

I will admit that Mr. Hargrove is not the only one who confuses CCDC with the Redevelopment Agency. This is a common mistake in the San Diego news media.

Mel Shapiro
via email

Grabbed My Neck

Re “I Think I’m Losing” (Feature Story, March 24).

This article left me speechless, for reasons being that someone else actually saw life through my eyes and was able to put the pen to paper and write the words that I not only searched for my entire 49 years of existence, but gave insight on how to live as well. I was given clarity to the world as I viewed it. For the first time, I actually have a smile on my face, a real smile because that article made a whole lot of sense to me. You can’t believe the weight that was lifted off of my shoulders after reading “I Think I’m Losing.” My heart actually pounded all the way through the article. I didn’t want it to end because it was such a good read. In reading the first sentence, I couldn’t believe how quickly it grabbed me. It was like a fist popping out at me and grabbing my neck and pulling me into its center, for it was closer to home than I could have ever imagined. It was myself and how I viewed the world that I was seeing and reading about. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. Kind of like hovering at your own funeral type thing. Susan will understand what I mean, I hope (hee). That’s what it felt like to me as I read further into its contents. The relief I received was in knowing that I wasn’t alone after all. Thank God for that, and thank God for Susan Luzzaro. You can’t begin to know the gratitude I have for Susan for writing “I Think I’m Losing.” Two years ago tomorrow, in fact — March 29, 2009 — I lost the first hero ever in my life, and that was my father George Hay to Alzheimer’s, and six months later death was knocking on the door once again, for on September 3, 2009, lung cancer claimed not only the other hero in my life but the love of my life, “Blackie.” Now, talk about devastating, it was like “bring it on, nothing can hurt me now.” I felt I was being punished for something.

Although I do hope and pray that I go before my mother, children, or even my dog, for that matter, because all that I love for one I don’t think there would be enough room in my heart to hold them all because each one I have so much love for, my heart would just probably explode, and then I’d tell you there’s now a hole in my heart that can only be filled by them, and then I could guarantee you that my death certificate would read “Died from a broken heart.” I’ll never be able to do death well; in fact, I know I never will, but I guess that’s life as we know it, right? They say time heals all wounds. I call B.S., for when it comes to death for me, that wound never heals.

My own mortality doesn’t bother me really. It’s the ones who are closest to me that I can honestly say will probably kill me. As a child growing up, I would always think that I was supposed to go first. Back then I just couldn’t even imagine life without my family, or that’s what I had imagined the way it would be anyways, which usually isn’t the case nor was it. Grandparents, people you know and know of are starting to drop like flies. Now the deaths are getting closer to my world, so to speak, aunts, uncles, next-door neighbors, now it’s your father and your fiancé. What the hell’s going on here? Death, give me a break, will ya, time to knock on someone else’s door ’cause next time I ain’t answering!!! Probably because it was my turn and I wasn’t able to answer the door!!!

But for now I’m gonna try focusing on the living, and even though at times I may think I’m losing, I’ll bet I take my chances on living as well. Thank you so much.

P.S. I hope Susan is still around to be able to read this, but if not, it makes me happy to know that she will be by Buck’s side once again and probably sitting with Blackie (the love of my life), all three of them at a crap table, each betting $100 and winning to boot.

Peace to you and yours,

Name Withheld
via email

An Engineer Joke

The tone and cluelessness of the March 24 letter from an anonymous engineer on the meaning of “DIY” brought to mind a favorite old joke: What’s the difference between a pair of engineer boots and a pair of cowboy boots? The cowboy boots have the s* on the outside.

Mike Loflen

They Serve The Public

I’m calling about the letter (March 24) to the Cookie Momster (“Cookie Momster,” “Diary of a Diva,” March 17). Barbarella says the petitioners shouldn’t be able to petition, or something to that effect. I’m just calling to say that the petitioners have First Amendment rights; they should have freedom of speech. It also gives people the opportunity to register to vote, so they’re performing a public service, in essence. It also is a job for petitioners who might otherwise be out of work or homeless or any number of situations. I think she should probably mind her business and let them do their work.

Name Withheld
via voice mail

A Band Of Tinkerers

Re letters to the editor “No Jobs for Barbarians” and “Free Market Distortion,” March 17.

I was out of the country for nearly two weeks, supervising an engineering job in Panama, so I missed the original article that caused those gentlemen to write their letters of condemnation.

Engineering has been described over the years as “the application of the forces of nature to the uses of man,” originally by the Association of Civil Engineers, later amended by others to include metaphysical forces, such as social forces and unforeseen trends.

A good portion of engineers find employment working in groups at companies where they ply their trade in organized layers of management and labor, finding comfort in the regular paycheck, much like a secretary or shipping clerk. So profound has this become over the years that engineers became unionized in many areas in order to protect the “longevity” employees over the “new and advanced.” The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace is one example.

However, since the beginning of engineering, which was not a degree but the result of a certain type of person tinkering and trying to understand mechanics and topography, engineers have been mostly independent thinkers capable of understanding and applying the forces of nature to invent, design, and build things to better mankind and enrich themselves.

For many years, engineers and explorers from the United States went to other countries to exploit low-cost labor and make money building large projects that those customers did not have the ability or resources to do themselves. In return, the Untied States became enriched with mineral and other wealth that had been extracted.

But one of those metaphysical things occurred — those poor, third world countries likewise had certain types of persons who liked to tinker, and they learned from our engineers that it is a noble profession. As a result, they studied and copied us, even exceeding in some areas.

So why the complaints now? Just to requalify myself, for the past 30 years I have still been visiting foreign countries, still plying my trade as an independent engineer and extracting money for my skill in inventing, designing, and building productive things that are useful to man.

I suggest for those complainers, instead of crying because someone took your desk or salary, that you use your knowledge and experience to invent, design, and build something that will not only help man but enrich yourself without depending on someone telling you what to do. Let every engineer become world-class, in every country.

Steve D. Bloom

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"I think she should probably mind her business and let them do their work." I love this... the whole point of my not wanting to be bothered by people with clipboards is because I'm minding my own business and going about my day, and they are interrupting me, uninvited. "Their work" is to intercept me on the way from the store to my car and promote their cause. Even when I agree with the cause, I am annoyed by the person. I will not support such irritations, not even with a signature.

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